Fraser Forster had a daily routine which verged on OCD. He rose at 6:00, ate his first meal of the day, drove to Lennoxtown (while eating six pancakes, as it happens), then worked-out in the gym. He stopped for ‘breakfast’ with the rest of the team, his third intake of the day, before training started at 10:00.
After training the players take lunch, then head home. Fraser stayed, back to the gym, or some specialist work with goalkeeper coach Stevie Woods, before heading home at 16:30. He was first to arrive and last to leave, every day.
This was his routine, broken only something as rare as a dentist visit. Every biological and fitness measurement was documented with improvements targeted.
Years ago, he decided he was going to this year’s World Cup. The personal relationship, which took visits to London to maintain, was put on hold. The visits interrupted the work schedule for two days, which he couldn’t afford.
There is a reasonable chance that he put more work into his game than any player in Celtic history, the contrast with some would anger you. The results were remarkable. Fraser transformed from a rough stone into the only man in the England World Cup squad not to play in their feted league.
Much of this was as a result of the meeting of minds he had with Stevie Woods. Stevie completely changed Fraser’s game, set career targets with him and planned how to reach them. I could make a good case that Woods is one of the leading goalkeeping coaches in Europe. He created one of the greatest keepers in Britain and will do so again.
On a personal level, he is everything you would want a Celtic player to be, had time for kids, time for fans. He graduates from Celtic as a credit to our club. We want more like this.
While I’ll have genuine regret if he goes, the axiom of the ages remains true, we manage our assets, or we fail to manage our assets. If we have £10m to add to or deny the budget, it should not be tied up in a goalkeeper.
So good for Celtic, but it’s left me with a problem. I’ve a nine-year-old who eats, sleeps, talks and, most of all, dreams, Fraser Forster. Hero worship has never been so intense, so I’ll delay wishing the big guy well, just in case….
Just so you know, Maribor would put us out if we played them this week. Don’t go dreaming of Champions League football yet.
Still cannot believe what happened yesterday.[calameo code=000390171ae033f39a0c4 lang=en page=120 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]